The 2012 open-racing season could hardly have gotten off to a better start than it did at Shelbourne Park on Saturday night.
Six very exciting contests over 575 yards were served up in the opening round of the Tyrur McGuigan @ Stud Open, with the performances of Broadstrand Lad and Tibetan Skies the headliners.
Trained in Blarney by John Linehan, Broadstrand Lad had a solo run in Heat 4, where he assumed control before the opening bend and then drew clear to win by three and a half lengths from always second Fatboyz Tyson in a very fast 31.10.
The younger Tibetan Skies wasn't far off the pace, though, with Owen McKenna's charge turning in a power-packed performance in winning the concluding heat. He hit the front in the early yards and was in a class apart as he won by five lengths from Piercestown West in 31.12.
In between these two runs, Ollie Bray's Royal Patrol was another to impress as he showed in front on the run-up and was four lengths too strong for always second Ohio Rumble in 31.32.
The closest contest was in Heat 3 as Irene McConnell's Martinstown Snow overcame a slow start to lead early down the back before holding off a determined effort from Croom Star by a neck in 31.42.
There were upsets in the two opening heats. Pat Carey's Holly Wood led all the way for a length and a half margin over Sawdust Terry in 31.51 and then Neilus O'Connell's Croom Upper took it up on the run-in when beating Kilmacar Nick by a length in 31.49.